Temps have dipped down to that signature Chicago chill, the lights are going up on the Magnificent Mile, and the citizens of Chi-Town are prepping for a season of celebrating. And what's the best way to revel in the holiday season? With food, of course. Each Thanksgiving, appetites turn from the deep-dish pizzas and Italian beef sandwiches the city is known for to sumptuous home-cooked meals. Those residing in the South Loop apartments at NEMA Chicago have the added bonus of being able to prepare those meals in the luxe, state-of-the-art kitchens in these spectacular downtown Chicago homes.
This year, gatherings might look and feel a little different than those of years past, but there's still ample opportunity to elevate your Thanksgiving menu with easy and delicious recipes that are almost stress-free. Let's take a look at a few that have been featured on the world-renowned food and photography blog RecipeTin Eats.
The focal point of the traditional Thanksgiving meal is undeniably the turkey, and there are myriad ways to prepare this plump and tasty bird. Perhaps you've used your grandmother's recipe (wonderful but time-consuming); or maybe you have tried the trendy spatchcock method (quicker but tricky); or you've even experimented with high-heat oil frying (delectable but potentially deadly). But with a simple slow cooker, you can prep your turkey in five minutes and indulge in a downright decadent meal with practically no effort. In fact, you don't need a brine or even a whole turkey: Start with some turkey breasts, suit them up in a rub, and place them on a bed of aromatics and veggies in the cooker. In about six hours, you'll be treated to tender, succulent meat and a rich gravy that pairs perfectly with your sides.
Imagine drizzling that rich, homemade sauce over mashed potatoes. Using RecipeTin Eats' "restaurant trick" of making your smashed spuds up to two days ahead of time, you won't have to worry about anything but adding a few extra glugs of half-and-half and maybe a little more butter than you should.
If you go a little overboard with the butter and gravy, make sure you have a fresh, green salad at the ready to assuage any guilt you might have over your indulgences. Try this flavorful shaved-brussels sprouts salad with an apple cider vinegarette if you want to be good — or cut loose and take it over the top (it’s the holidays, after all) by adding crispy bacon and buttery toasted hazelnuts.
All this rich food calls for a tart companion to balance the meal. That’s where RecipeTin Eats’ homemade cranberry sauce comes in. A classic complement to any Thanksgiving meal, cranberry sauce is best prepared fresh — forget the can. Don't worry; it's an easy order with lemon, cranberries, salt, and sugar.
Wind down your at-home feast with an autumnal flourish: pumpkin bars. Truly a dessert exemplar in the pumpkin-spiced canon, this end-of-meal treat is a rich cake with luscious, sweet cream cheese frosting on top.
Whatever you make this Thanksgiving, enjoy it all while looking out over jaw-dropping views of the city and Lake Michigan at the luxury downtown apartments of NEMA Chicago.